Advanced Technology Project

Unley High School is one of nineteen schools in South Australia involved in the Advanced Technology Project.  This is an initiative funded from the Commonwealth by the Defence Material Organisation and aims to increase the number of students studying science, mathematics and technology while at school and post school.  It has allowed the school to purchase equipment and funded teachers to undergo professional development in relevant areas.

In 2012 the project has funded the acquisition of a class set of the latest data loggers and associated sensors.  Modern scientists rarely do any of their work without data loggers and computers being involved and the use of these has been integrated into a number of topics in both the middle school and senior school science curriculum.

All Year 9 students have also taken part in the STELR (Science and Technology Education Leveraging Relevance) Programme using equipment funded by the project.  This is a national school science education initiative of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.  It consists of a hands-on, inquiry-based, in-curriculum programme on the theme of global warming and renewable energy.

In August 2012, a number of our students demonstrated examples of both of these initiatives to primary school students and invited guests at a Southern Science Expo.  At this event they also demonstrated how iPads were being used in the science curriculum.

Finally, in fourth term, 2012, the school trialled a new initiative with half of the Year 10 cohort.  These students were involved in a problem-based learning activity whilst the other members of the year level were doing work experience.  Students chose from six challenges seen to be some of the engineering challenges facing us in the 21st Century.  They worked in teams towards preparing a possible solution to their challenge which they then presented to panels of experts invited to the school for the occasion.

Jo van der Zwaag (Manager, Advanced Technology Project)